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Google to Launch Digital Bookstore This Summer

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google will be launching a digital bookstore this summer, jumping into a market that already includes such major industry players as Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble.

At the Book Industry Study Group in the New York offices of Random House on Tuesday, Chris Palma, Google's manager for strategic-partner development, announced the timetable for the company's launch of its digital bookstore. According to Palma, Google's store will allow people to access a wide range of books in multiple formats from multiple sites, creating a significant difference from its competitors.

The plan is for the new digital bookstore -- called Google Editions -- to act as a clearinghouse to sell books that are "discovered" by a user through its book-search service. This would allow outside vendors -- including independent bookstores -- to sell digital books through the site and retain the vast majority of the profits.

Google is currently involved in a lawsuit that it hopes will lead to the acquisition of the rights to millions of out-of-print books. A decision in this case is expected soon.

- Richard Manfredi


May 04, 2010